Watching Let's Plays...

#1 Posted by Puchiko (58 posts) -

I've finally beaten the game finally and before I do my NG+++ I have been watching other people's lets plays (Epicnamebro, Jeff Green, and Jumpin) and something in common has been bothering me about the latter two. I know they are trying get comedic value out of their streams but a lot of the frustration they have over the difficulty and confusion in the game seems to stem from them rushing through the game. Skipping over conversations and not looking around every corner, they miss out on a lot and then complain how stupid the game is during the stream.

I couldn't believe that in both streams they couldn't figure out how to even customize their character appearance. Its not listed as button press but they aren't newbs to gaming either and just trying other buttons they could have figured it out. They also completely skipped over the tutorial areas, then went on to complain that the didn't know how some of the controls worked. In Majula I kept yelling at the screen to talk to the NPCs after for 3 episodes Jumpin couldn't figure out how to level up. And it goes on and on....

Is this where the majority of people's belief this game is hard and obstuse comes from? Dark Souls to me is all about atmosphere and exploration and on NG it took me about 80 hours. I didn't get 100 percent of the items and could have beat the game in less than half the time but I enjoyed the journey. Hindsight is 20/20 and watching other people play and their play styles is fun and frustrating at the same time.

#2 Posted by HaniBall (314 posts) -

I have mostly stuck to Souls experts. You know, folks you can actually learn from. N00best, yukaslegion and random others. The only generic playthrough I watched for a bit was Virlomi and she handled herself well. Up until about the 6th or 7th shot at least :) Bananasaurus is playing it currently and it is amazing to me how somebody who can ace spelunky (a much harder game) is having his share of of trouble and is actually using soul arrows. Never a good sign (looking at you ign guides!)

Long story short, if you want to learn something stick to the pro's.

And no, I refuse to believe that is what people mean when they say the games are difficult.

#3 Posted by Karkarov (3102 posts) -

@puchiko: Well here is the problem with let's plays from the beginning. Most of them are fake. What do you mean Kark? I mean they are canned gags and stupid deaths with exaggerated reactions etc etc because that's what gets people to view videos apparently. I doubt Jeff Green is doing that, after all he is a busy/getting older guy who probably just doesn't want to sit down and decipher it all. He just wants to sit down play his damn game and have fun. The other guys though? I don't put a lot of stock in the authenticity of their reactions or play. They are doing it for hits because youtube is their job and they just want to do whatever they have to do to keep the masses watching and clicking videos.

Personally I suggest you find better Let's Plays to watch.

#4 Posted by Bane (402 posts) -

If you're looking for suggestions...

One of the best Let's Plays I've watched came from a suggestion here on the Dark Souls board. Her channel is called Kay Plays. She's an experienced gamer, but was brand new to Dark Souls at the time. She played it "right" by using her brain and making smart observations. It was a lot of fun to watch her learn and progress with the various game mechanics. She started a Dark Souls II Let's Play a few days ago which I'm looking forward to watching.

Another Let's Player I'm a fan of is Christopher Odd. He's similar to Kay in that he doesn't rush through things just to get to the next combat situation, and he's good at providing funny commentary too. He's got Let's Plays of a bazillion games, it's kind of nuts. It would take me months to watch all the content on his channel.

#5 Edited by Puchiko (58 posts) -

@karkarov said:

Personally I suggest you find better Let's Plays to watch.

I am not watching these to learn new stuff. Just for the entertainment value and seeing other people's reaction to game. The three I chose to watch was because of their differing personalities. Epic is highly skilled and versed in the lore. Jumpin seemed to be a troll so I thought it would be funny to see how that brain works. And Jeff is an adult with little free time which I sympathize with.

The point I was trying to get across was that it seems the frustration I see seems to stem from people not bothering to learn how to play a game or pay attention. I play my games a little bit like Brad where I look in every nook and cranny and backtrack and second guess a lot. And a little like Vinny where I have an obsession to collect everything.

I respect Jeff Green a whole lot and was not trying to diss him. It just surprised me that after beat Dark Souls that he was having such trouble with the sequel.

#6 Posted by TheBlue (360 posts) -

@puchiko: To be fair, Jeff Green spent a good amount of time listening to NPCs dialogue in his first stream of II, something he never did in Dark Souls 1. He's clearly trying to pay more attention to the lore and the world. Was it kind of annoying when he sat there for 10 minutes trying to give the key to the blacksmith? Yeah, but it was also hilarious. At the same time, I never expected him to find the Forest that quickly. He never said the game was stupid, he has barely started and he even said that himself. You can't assume that everyone has the same level of observation and patience when it comes to menus and interfaces. Keep in mind these people are also trying to entertain you, not make you watch them sift through menus. Some people don't want to watch 30 minutes of character customization, even if it is somewhat interactive.

I'm the same as you, I watch this stuff cause it's fun to see how other people play, but you have to be reasonable about your expectations. If you're getting that frustrated over people getting lost or confused to the point that you're yelling at your screen, maybe you should think about if you're really enjoying yourself or not. I don't know, just some friendly advice.

To your other point though, I don't think the notorious difficulty comes from interface management and getting lost. It comes from people thinking it's an action hack and slash game, not realizing it's about patience and execution.

PS. Go back and watch Jeff's Part 1 of Dark Souls 1. Now that's some frustrating stuff. I think he's come a long way.

#7 Posted by Lukeweizer (2677 posts) -

The character customization is not really well informed. Yes, you can press Back to exit the tab you're currently in, but it makes no mention of Left or Right bumper to switch tabs. I got confused by it my first time creating as well.

Speaking more to Jeff's playthrough, does he really need to go through the tutorial? Yes, there are a couple new things. But he really doesn't need to know about Guard Break to get through the game. But I bet it's in large part to the streaming aspect. He doesn't want to bore people with NPC dialogue and tutorials. All it'll take is 1 whiney prick in chat to tell him to move on and he'll feel guilty. Which is a real shame.

I think a lot of the whole aspect of people's frustrations with the game are just it's subtleties. It's unlike a lot of other game out there. You have to kind of understand how it works and it makes no effort to teach how it works.

#8 Posted by Zevvion (1871 posts) -

You should watch my Let's Play of it. Just because.

However, it boils down to this:

@puchiko said:

I've finally beaten the game finally and before I do my NG+++ I have been watching other people's lets plays (Epicnamebro, Jeff Green, and Jumpin) and something in common has been bothering me about the latter two. I know they are trying get comedic value out of their streams but a lot of the frustration they have over the difficulty and confusion in the game seems to stem from them rushing through the game. Skipping over conversations and not looking around every corner, they miss out on a lot and then complain how stupid the game is during the stream.

I couldn't believe that in both streams they couldn't figure out how to even customize their character appearance. Its not listed as button press but they aren't newbs to gaming either and just trying other buttons they could have figured it out. They also completely skipped over the tutorial areas, then went on to complain that the didn't know how some of the controls worked. In Majula I kept yelling at the screen to talk to the NPCs after for 3 episodes Jumpin couldn't figure out how to level up. And it goes on and on....

Is this where the majority of people's belief this game is hard and obstuse comes from? Dark Souls to me is all about atmosphere and exploration and on NG it took me about 80 hours. I didn't get 100 percent of the items and could have beat the game in less than half the time but I enjoyed the journey. Hindsight is 20/20 and watching other people play and their play styles is fun and frustrating at the same time.

This is true for me as well, but it isn't the case for a lot of people. You need to remember that people want to be told what to do, if it isn't already done for them. Dark Souls is hard to get into because it doesn't do everything for you. If you want to level up, there's not just no reminder popping on the screen to do it every 10 seconds and there is not just no bright flickering light whenever you enter your inventory; but yeah, you actually have to find out how to level up yourself.

This is what people who like Dark Souls often like about Dark Souls and people who don't, don't.

#9 Posted by development (2309 posts) -

It's a streaming thing. When you're glancing at the chat every few seconds and trying to maintain entertainment value it's easy to lose track of what's going on or gloss over important details. Obviously you get an ironic outcome, in that it's more boring watching them bang their head against a wall than it would be to watch them go through things methodically. It's a hard lesson to teach yourself (the streamer), though. Jeff Green's new to streaming... and I have no idea who the other person is so I can't help you there.

#10 Posted by rocketboot (138 posts) -

I like ENB for his insight on lore, I also find him pretty entertaining. Lobos Jr is great too, he does some pretty insane challenge/speed runs. Jeff Greene is pretty funny, he makes me want to force my dad to play Dark Souls. Unfortunately I have such a limited amount of time to play the game and if I end up watching LPs I'm skipping through a lot of parts.

#11 Posted by certmcgurt (26 posts) -

@bane said:

If you're looking for suggestions...

One of the best Let's Plays I've watched came from a suggestion here on the Dark Souls board. Her channel is called Kay Plays. She's an experienced gamer, but was brand new to Dark Souls at the time. She played it "right" by using her brain and making smart observations. It was a lot of fun to watch her learn and progress with the various game mechanics. She started a Dark Souls II Let's Play a few days ago which I'm looking forward to watching.

Another Let's Player I'm a fan of is Christopher Odd. He's similar to Kay in that he doesn't rush through things just to get to the next combat situation, and he's good at providing funny commentary too. He's got Let's Plays of a bazillion games, it's kind of nuts. It would take me months to watch all the content on his channel.

I'll second Kay's Let's Play of Dark Souls, she's very observant of her surroundings and even takes notes on things she should go back to later. Her LP also felt genuinely "blind," she makes choices some more experienced players wouldn't (but probably did on their first playthrough) and she rolls with the punches. She's also pretty funny as an added bonus.

#12 Posted by Puchiko (58 posts) -

Thanks for the suggestions about Kay's LPs. Really enjoyed the first 2 episodes so far and will probably go back and watch her Dark Souls LP as well. Contrary to what I may have implied I am not yelling at the screen all the time or am angry while I watch these LPs, I was only making observations on things that bothered me. It's no different than Gary Whitta telling someone to "shoot that guy!".

Really tempted to get this on PC after watching of LPs of that port but crossing fingers for a PS4 port now that Kadokawa bought them, a port is more likely (if still slim).

#13 Posted by militantfreudian (111 posts) -

@bane: Yeah, thanks for suggesting Kay Plays. She's very perceptive and a fast learner. It is a joy to watch her play, really. She managed to kill not only the regular skeletons, but the large one as well. She also managed to kill the black knight and the first boss on her first try. What's even more impressive is that she's not even used to playing with a controller.

#14 Posted by Bane (402 posts) -

@puchiko: @militantfreudian: You're welcome. In her first (?) video she mentions that she started the Let's Play on the insistence of her boyfriend who thought it would be funny to watch her struggle with the difficulty. Well, she showed him by being awesome.

I like Jeff Green, he seems to be a cool duder. I tried watching his Dark Souls Let's Play, but I just couldn't continue past the first episode. It's good to know he's improved since then. I'll have to give him another shot.

I'm also looking forward to watching EpicNameBro's Let's Play. I watched his Dark Souls lore videos after beating the game the first time and they blew my mind. I can only imagine that if he drops his lore knowledge while playing that has to be some entertaining shit.

#15 Posted by Zevvion (1871 posts) -

If anyone is interested, I started a new playthrough and am recording it. I always roleplay my characters a bit to make it more interesting. I am doing that again in this one as I did in the last one I recorded. I am not great with this type of build though, so it's pretty interesting to see the difference in performance. I am really excited about playing this build. I pretty much never played one like this before.

#16 Posted by HaniBall (314 posts) -

@zevvion said:

If anyone is interested, I started a new playthrough and am recording it. I always roleplay my characters a bit to make it more interesting. I am doing that again in this one as I did in the last one I recorded. I am not great with this type of build though, so it's pretty interesting to see the difference in performance. I am really excited about playing this build. I pretty much never played one like this before.

Had a look. You clearly know how to handle yourself plus you are an opinionated s.o.b, so that makes it fun. In your previous video you go on about how the dragon shrine is so much harder than amana. Don't get me wrong, I admire that you take on each dragon and even mace knight pure melee, but taking on the aggro tandems on the dragon stairs together was pushing it. I guess at some point you finally resort to separating them :)

#17 Edited by Zevvion (1871 posts) -

@haniball said:

@zevvion said:

If anyone is interested, I started a new playthrough and am recording it. I always roleplay my characters a bit to make it more interesting. I am doing that again in this one as I did in the last one I recorded. I am not great with this type of build though, so it's pretty interesting to see the difference in performance. I am really excited about playing this build. I pretty much never played one like this before.

Had a look. You clearly know how to handle yourself plus you are an opinionated s.o.b, so that makes it fun. In your previous video you go on about how the dragon shrine is so much harder than amana. Don't get me wrong, I admire that you take on each dragon and even mace knight pure melee, but taking on the aggro tandems on the dragon stairs together was pushing it. I guess at some point you finally resort to separating them :)

You are correct. I realized I was being a bit of a dick halfway through Shrine of Amana and regretted being one as I realized there is nothing wrong with thinking that area is hard. I was just surprised how many people thought it was hard and them venting their anger at it on message boards saying it is a 'bullshit' area and whatnot kind of got to me as I had little trouble with the area. In turn, I vented my opinion about their opinion in my video. A poor choice on my part. But I realized this about halfway through, it was just a little hard for me to explain that I realized I was needlessly being a dick.

But man, thanks for watching and thanks for the feedback. I'm not going for the thousands of views with this stuff, but it is more fun if some people are watching.

#18 Posted by HaniBall (314 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@haniball said:

@zevvion said:

If anyone is interested, I started a new playthrough and am recording it. I always roleplay my characters a bit to make it more interesting. I am doing that again in this one as I did in the last one I recorded. I am not great with this type of build though, so it's pretty interesting to see the difference in performance. I am really excited about playing this build. I pretty much never played one like this before.

Had a look. You clearly know how to handle yourself plus you are an opinionated s.o.b, so that makes it fun. In your previous video you go on about how the dragon shrine is so much harder than amana. Don't get me wrong, I admire that you take on each dragon and even mace knight pure melee, but taking on the aggro tandems on the dragon stairs together was pushing it. I guess at some point you finally resort to separating them :)

You are correct. I realized I was being a bit of a dick halfway through Shrine of Amana and regretted being one as I realized there is nothing wrong with thinking that area is hard. I was just surprised how many people thought it was hard and them venting their anger at it on message boards saying it is a 'bullshit' area and whatnot kind of got to me as I had little trouble with the area. In turn, I vented my opinion about their opinion in my video. A poor choice on my part. But I realized this about halfway through, it was just a little hard for me to explain that I realized I was needlessly being a dick.

But man, thanks for watching and thanks for the feedback. I'm not going for the thousands of views with this stuff, but it is more fun if some people are watching.

I also had fun with your approach to take out the first turtle. People will have to watch to know what I mean. But just let me say that would have been one of those moments where holding up a shield would be considered good practice :)

#19 Edited by Karkarov (3102 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@haniball said:

@zevvion said:

If anyone is interested, I started a new playthrough and am recording it. I always roleplay my characters a bit to make it more interesting. I am doing that again in this one as I did in the last one I recorded. I am not great with this type of build though, so it's pretty interesting to see the difference in performance. I am really excited about playing this build. I pretty much never played one like this before.

Had a look. You clearly know how to handle yourself plus you are an opinionated s.o.b, so that makes it fun. In your previous video you go on about how the dragon shrine is so much harder than amana. Don't get me wrong, I admire that you take on each dragon and even mace knight pure melee, but taking on the aggro tandems on the dragon stairs together was pushing it. I guess at some point you finally resort to separating them :)

You are correct. I realized I was being a bit of a dick halfway through Shrine of Amana and regretted being one as I realized there is nothing wrong with thinking that area is hard. I was just surprised how many people thought it was hard and them venting their anger at it on message boards saying it is a 'bullshit' area and whatnot kind of got to me as I had little trouble with the area.

I don't know I sort of agree. Amana was a classic souls level. It was hard, but only in that it forced you to approach it differently. People who just refuse to use ranged attacks boggle my mind. I was a melee character high strength build too, but I could spare the 12 levels to get 18 dex and use that Dragonrider bow. Too many people call bullshit on the game when in reality they are just gimping themselves and not being willing to try to change up their game to counter an area.

In other news don't listen to Haniball about the s.o.b. stuff. You want to see a real asshole play this game you can just check out my let's play. I think I ranted for like 3-4 minutes in Majula about how people saying the game wasn't connected where wrong since you can clearly see Hiede, forest of giants, shaded woods, and the castle all from Majula.

#20 Posted by HaniBall (314 posts) -

@karkarov said:

@zevvion said:

@haniball said:

@zevvion said:

If anyone is interested, I started a new playthrough and am recording it. I always roleplay my characters a bit to make it more interesting. I am doing that again in this one as I did in the last one I recorded. I am not great with this type of build though, so it's pretty interesting to see the difference in performance. I am really excited about playing this build. I pretty much never played one like this before.

Had a look. You clearly know how to handle yourself plus you are an opinionated s.o.b, so that makes it fun. In your previous video you go on about how the dragon shrine is so much harder than amana. Don't get me wrong, I admire that you take on each dragon and even mace knight pure melee, but taking on the aggro tandems on the dragon stairs together was pushing it. I guess at some point you finally resort to separating them :)

You are correct. I realized I was being a bit of a dick halfway through Shrine of Amana and regretted being one as I realized there is nothing wrong with thinking that area is hard. I was just surprised how many people thought it was hard and them venting their anger at it on message boards saying it is a 'bullshit' area and whatnot kind of got to me as I had little trouble with the area.

I don't know I sort of agree. Amana was a classic souls level. It was hard, but only in that it forced you to approach it differently. People who just refuse to use ranged attacks boggle my mind. I was a melee character high strength build too, but I could spare the 12 levels to get 18 dex and use that Dragonrider bow. Too many people call bullshit on the game when in reality they are just gimping themselves and not being willing to try to change up their game to counter an area.

In other news don't listen to Haniball about the s.o.b. stuff. You want to see a real asshole play this game you can just check out my let's play. I think I ranted for like 3-4 minutes in Majula about how people saying the game wasn't connected where wrong since you can clearly see Hiede, forest of giants, shaded woods, and the castle all from Majula.

Hey Kark, you know that spot after the short airtrip to Bastille where you cross the rubble, where you meet the first ogre, but he can't reach you yet?

I left a "sniper spot" there, just for you :p

#21 Posted by Zevvion (1871 posts) -

@karkarov: The thing I was a bit dickish about is actually how you don't need ranged attacks for Shrine of Amana at all. You can do it purely melee. I commented on this in my previous playthrough. I did the entire area purely melee I think and was bitching about people who were bitching about it. This is what Hannibal meant. And he is right, I was being a bit too dickish about it. Honestly didn't mean it that way though. You can watch it here.

#22 Posted by Karkarov (3102 posts) -

@zevvion said:

@karkarov: The thing I was a bit dickish about is actually how you don't need ranged attacks for Shrine of Amana at all. You can do it purely melee. I commented on this in my previous playthrough. I did the entire area purely melee I think and was bitching about people who were bitching about it. This is what Hannibal meant. And he is right, I was being a bit too dickish about it. Honestly didn't mean it that way though. You can watch it here.

Well it was doable, it was just extra hard. In fact I melee the part everyone says is hardest to melee and snipe the stuff people say to melee. Mostly because I am weird.

@haniball Don't be mocking my bow son. Also that is a Mummy Dude not an Ogre. The Ogre's are what everyone calls Hippos.

#23 Edited by alwaysbebombing (1584 posts) -

No, don't. You'll die

#24 Posted by HaniBall (314 posts) -

@karkarov: hey, you gotta admit that was at least a liiiiittle bit funny, no? Also i have no business mocking peoples ranged attacks. Just this morning, after two refreshing lava swims, i cheesed old iron with my mighty hexes from behind the wall. Fun fact: my int is at 10!

#25 Posted by Karkarov (3102 posts) -

@haniball said:

@karkarov: hey, you gotta admit that was at least a liiiiittle bit funny, no? Also i have no business mocking peoples ranged attacks. Just this morning, after two refreshing lava swims, i cheesed old iron with my mighty hexes from behind the wall. Fun fact: my int is at 10!

Well you got 5 more points in int than I do man! Those npc's won't even talk to me ;_;

#26 Posted by HaniBall (314 posts) -

And oh, that isnt an ogre like rat authority isnt a dog.

Have they SEEN shrek?

#27 Posted by Kaos999 (56 posts) -

Love this thread! It was watching ENB that got me into the souls series a while ago, gotta thank him for showing me the series is only as hard/easy as you make it. I initially thought the game had tons of enemies you fought at once with complex move sets that required twitch skills I thought I didn't have.

After seeing his playthrough I saw that wasn't the case and have loved all 3 games. I watch tons of vids for entertainment and will definitely check out Kay's.

P.S. i'm sure most know but ENB is a good place to find all things lore related.

#28 Posted by dudeglove (7828 posts) -

Lobos Jr's various DS1 playthroughs are entertaining. Does Oroboro and Peeve's LP of DS1 with NG+7 grave lorded aggression mod count? Them taking on Blighttown had me in stitches, and although they might sound annoying, they actually riff off each other really well. I mean, they don't go into lore or whatever, they're kind of more for people who've already seen a dark souls LP and expect to know what's coming.

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